Nicaragua contracted the American Bank Note Company to prepare its first postal stationery cards.
Seven different types were issued between 1878 and 1889. There are essentially two different designs, one for the 2 centavos domestic card and one for the 3 centavos international card.
|Two cents domestic card
Two of the four types of domestic cards are double cards. The reply half is difficult to distinguish from the simple card. The reply card on both double cards usually shows a faint printers guide marks at center right. Other than that it is identical to the single card. The same holds true for the international double card. The reply card shows Contestación Pagada at bottom center but the reply half is equally difficult to distinguish from the single card.
|Earliest documented card postmarke Managua July 17, 1879 to Leon. The only documented postal card
used during 1878-1881 (Schreiber Collection)
Used copies shows a rich diversity in cancels. Among th cancellation devices used during the period one can distinguish between:
1. Number - letter cancels.
2. Circular date stamp cancels.
3. Small circular cancels.
4. A Ambulante cancel used in 1889 which is quite scarce on stationery.
5. A special Mo/Mo Momotombo marking from circa 1887-8 which is only recorded on one card.
The number-letter cancels existed in the thirteen main post offices of Nicaragua but most are unknown on stationery cards. Managua (6M) and Leon are known and estremely rare. Below we show one from Chinandega (8CH) whic is possibly unique.
|Nicaragua, April 26, 1888: two cents domestic card used to Leon with boxed 8CH in black.
This letter-number cancel is possibly unique on a stationery card
There are two types of town cancels, one 30 mm. and one 33 mm. in diameter. The most common are from San Juan del Sur, San Juan del Norte, Rivas, Granada, Masaya, Managua, Leon, Chinandega, Corinto and Bluefields. Of there, Chinandega and Masaya are probably the least seen. Other town cancels rate from scarce to rare.
The most of the cancels is either blue, violet or black with no premium attached to either. Not uncommon are single ring cancels which accompany a cancelation duplex marking with the name to the right. Of extreme rarity are stationery cards used with additional stamps added and these are primaly addresed to Europe. Likewise, an extremely rare are specimen copies of the seven cards.